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How to enable one of the best security features in Android Lollipop

Published Mar 25th, 2015 1:01PM EDT
Android Lollipop Encryption
Image: Google Inc.

One of the best built-in features of Android 5.0 Lollipop focuses on security and privacy, even though it comes with one unwelcome side effect: a hit to overall performance. However, in its most recent Lollipop update, Google has disabled the feature – default device encryption – in order to increase the speed of smartphones and tablets already running Android 5.x.

While that move may please users who aren’t interested in having all their data protected by 128-bit AES encryption (it also definitely pleases the government), other Android users may want to reenable it if privacy and security are concerns.

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The good news is that full disk encryption is still present in Lollipop, and GottaBeMobile has detailed instructions on how to turn it back on. The process is rather simple and veteran Android users are probably well aware of it, as encrypting devices has been an option in earlier versions of Android as well.

However, you should know that the entire process can take some time, so you should only do it when you’re at home or when you have access to a charger, because the device must not run out of power while it’s being encryption.

The first thing you have to do is enable a screen lock password, PIN or pattern lock by going to the Security menu inside Settings. While it may be annoying for some people, lock screen security should be enabled at all times, especially on encrypted devices, so that your handset or tablet actually keeps your encrypted data protected from others.

Once that’s done, you’ll have to tap the Encrypt phone/tablet option in the same Security menu to start device encryption.

After the hour-long encryption process is complete, the device will reboot and you’ll have to enter the password you’ve just set up to start using it. More details about enabling encryption on Lollipop devices, complete with images, are available at the source link.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.